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Obstacles and Catalysts of Productive Mobility in the United States


  • Alfredo A. Romero

    (North Carolina A&T State University)

  • Hal W. Snarr

    (Westminster College)


Of particular interest in economics, regional science, public policy, and other disciplines interested in migration processes, is the understanding of the factors that determine an individual’s or household’s preferred residential location and the forces that might induce the individual or household to switch to another location. Using data from the Current Population Survey and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, we investigate the dynamics of work-motivated household relocations over the period 1999-2010 by associating the likelihood of individuals moving to a different state or within the same state under different macroeconomic conditions and accounting for different sociodemographic factors. Our results indicate that home ownership status is an important inhibitor of migrations decision, especially during economic contractions. This phenomenon might help explain why labor markets do not clear rapidly during recessions. We also show that minority groups are far less likely to migrate than whites are even after adjusting by sociodemographic characteristics.

Suggested Citation

  • Alfredo A. Romero & Hal W. Snarr, 2015. "Obstacles and Catalysts of Productive Mobility in the United States," Journal of Economic Insight (formerly the Journal of Economics (MVEA)), Missouri Valley Economic Association, vol. 41(1), pages 57-83.
  • Handle: RePEc:mve:journl:v:41:y:2015:i:1:p:57-83

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C25 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions; Probabilities
    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion


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